COMMUNITY Engagement & Outreach

Mike Cottrell College of Business faculty, staff and students made a tremendous impact on their communities during the 2018-2019 academic year. Here are some of this year’s highlights:


Each year, second year Cottrell MBA student teams critically analyze environmental and competitive scenarios, develop appropriate business strategies and propose operational improvements for local businesses and non-profit organizations. This year, students worked with the following organizations: Country Folks Superstore, Forsyth County Library, Fiserv, Cane Creek Farms, FILL Ministries, The Place, Family Promise, Humane Society of Hall County, Rahab’s Rope and Syfan Logistics.


To provide students with the types of success skills desired by employers, Cottrell MBA students trained in the areas of communications and executive presence through a partnership with Alliance Theatre’s Alliance@Work program. Director of business graduate programs Steven Kronenberg was named a 2018 UNG Presidential Innovation Award recipient for developing this partnership.


This year business students participated in 225 internships with regional, national and international companies. Recently added regional internships have included Syfan Logistics, Hydra, ZF, Forum Communications and WUHR. New discussions also have begun regarding the development of co-operative education opportunities for undergraduate students.


UNG’s Enactus student organization is a community of students, academics and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world. During this past academic year, UNG Enactus students completed a variety of projects including teaching professional development in our regional community, conducting entrepreneurship workshops and partnering with a local children’s museum to teach families how to raise healthy and sustainable home gardens.


Working collaboratively with an executive from Coca-Cola, students in Mary Norman’s undergraduate Marketing Management class were “commissioned” to address a current and important business challenge for the Diet Coke® and Coke Zero Sugar® brands. The class developed and presented four different strategic marketing plans to help Coca-Cola recruit the next generation of consumers. In return, students had the unique opportunity to learn first-hand how a large, global company goes about making consumer connections.


The Cottrell Speaker Series is an opportunity for students, faculty, staff and members of the regional business community to interact with business executives who are seen as leaders in their respective fields. Speakers for this past academic year included: Tanika Cabral, Vice President of Global Marketing for The Coca-Cola Company; Alan Amlin, Vice President of Global Strategy for UPS; Mike Higley, ’81, Vice President of Operations for FedEx Sub-Saharan Africa; retired Army Lt. Gen. James L. Terry, ’78, Senior Vice President for Business Development and Ground Strategy at Cubic Global Defense; and Carol Burrell, President and CEO of Northeast Georgia Health System.


Each spring, accounting students gain valuable experience as they assist low-income community members with free tax filing services through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Under the guidance of Lisa Nash, a certified public accountant (CPA) and lecturer of accounting, students gain hands-on experience while providing eligible community members with professional tax filing assistance.